It is May, April slipped by with a solitary post that only taunted you with the promise of more to come in the month. A broken promise. When the words wouldn't come, the sentences more fragmented than usual, the desire to write all but entirely absent - that is when I finally knew, I was heart sick. My soul in need of some serious TLC. My heart needing balm to heal.
On the outside I looked fine. I kept "keeping on" out of sheer necessity, projects at work didn't give me an option. If I allowed myself to open up and enter in to the mess, it meant I wouldn't be able to function. So I numbed myself. I buried myself in work. I obsessively read "The Hunger Games" trilogy. I watched TV and movies. I hit the gym with more frequency. I shopped. I ate. I drank (and not just copious amounts of coffee). Feeling and processing wasn't allowed, strictly verboten. Occasionally my heart wandered when the numbing started to wear off, but it only brought tears, incapacitating sorrow, unbridled anger. I didn't know - and still don't - how to delve into the muck while functioning in life. The only thing I knew to do was shut down and ignore my heart. It is awfully hard to write from the heart, about living a life of faith, learning how to live whole-heartedly, if you are silencing it.
But this can only go on for so long. I felt the fissures in my facade creeping, making their way to critical joints, the wall separating my heart from my head was about to crack. It made me nervous. Thankfully, it was also about this time that I finished my part in a major project at work. No one was waiting on me to finish something before they could start their work; I was no longer a roadblock for others. Enough time had passed since March's escapades that some vacation hours had accumulated in my time-off bank again. This meant - I could escape!! A couple weeks ago, I took an afternoon off from work and found the brackish balm that I so sorely needed. Pulling out of my driveway a few minutes after noon, I drove straight to Sleepy Monk Coffee in Cannon Beach. (It really is the best coffee and worth the drive just to pick up a bag of beans.) After stashing my bag of beans in the car, I walked across the street and found the sand and surf and started walking south. And kept walking south. Then went a little further. Finally, I had to stop as I didn't want to go for a swim to get around the bend to Hug Point Park. Most of the way I was alone, not another person in sight up or down the coastline; just me and God, walking and talking. Pouring my heart out, needing Him to show up and care for it, to rescue me, and remind me just who I am.
And God did show up.
As I pronounced myself wretched, sinful, rebellious, and unworthy of love, Jesus said, 'No. You are redeemed, forgiven, and not only worthy of love, but you are loved.'
Presenting the 'evidence' of my single, solitary, lonely aloneness as proof of my unloveableness. God refutes me, and reminds me that I am loved. Deeply. Beyond measure. And I am not alone, not ever, that I am part of a much larger family. A community that loves me, if I would allow them.
Ranting and whining about recent events of the past six months, questioning God's goodness, wanting to know why I am being punished. The Lord, with gentle loving kindness reproofs me, 'I am good. I am the giver of all good things. I lavish you with my goodness. Don't confuse punishment with living in a fallen world.'
I have never, ever found even one whole sand dollar on the beach. I brought home over 20!
Nearing the turn to get back to my car, just when I start to question am I totally crazy for believing God would talk to me, talk to my heart, had I made it all up? He sends one more reminder.
I am understanding the verse in Philippians 2:11 so much more that says "...continue to work out your salvation..." It's all a process. We are all in process. My afternoon and evening at the beach did a world of good for me. I physically feel lighter, as though burdens were literally taken off my shoulders, words are starting to trickle back in to my mind and are being turned over in my heart, forming into phrases. I'm getting back to right, but it's a new right as God is moving, changing, renewing me. It's a process. I'm a process. I hope to get back to posting regularly soon, and share some of my process with you, but if it seems slow, please be patient and kind - I'm in process... just like you.